Last week, first responders in New York were told not to bother resuscitating anyone found without a pulse, as a way to help with the stress on hospitals overburdened with Wuhan coronavirus patients.
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Fox News reports that on Wednesday, New York state rescinded their blanket do-not-resuscitate order that instructed first-responders not to revive patients without a pulse, in an effort to preserve resources during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The order initially was deemed “necessary during the COVID-19 response to protect the health and safety of EMS providers by limiting their exposure, conserve resources, and ensure optimal use of equipment to save the greatest number of lives,” according to a memo issued last week by the state Department of Health.
Jill Montag of the state department of health announced that the blanket decision not to resuscitate has been rescinded, saying, “They don’t reflect New York’s standards and for that reason DOH Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker has ordered them to be rescinded.”
Before the initial order was issued, paramedics were told to try to resuscitate patients found in cardiac arrest for up to 20 minutes, the New York Post reported.
New York City’s Fire Department (FDNY) and first responders never adopted the DNR order and instead adhered to the traditional 20-minute policy.
The Daily Mail reports – First responders said they were disturbed by the directive, arguing it went against their mission of saving lives.
They’re not giving people a second chance to live anymore,” Oren Barzilay, the president of Local 2507, Uniformed EMTs, Paramedics & Fire Inspectors Union, told the Post. “Our job is to bring patients back to life. This guideline takes that away from us.”
‘Now you don’t get 20 minutes of CPR if you have no rhythm,’ a veteran FDNY Emergency Medical Services worker said, referring to when paramedics arrive on the scene. ‘They simply let you die.’
The paramedic did say that ‘a small percentage’ – roughly three or four out of 100 patients – are actually brought back to life through CPR and other intervention methods.
According to the state Health Department, the new guidelines have been in use ‘in many areas of the US as well as other locations throughout the world.’
‘These changes are based on standards widely agreed upon by the physician leaders of EMS Regional Medical Control Systems across NYS and the Medical Standards Committee of the State Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council,’ a department rep told The Post in a statement.